FILE - In this April 18, 2011 file photo, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer speaks in Phoenix It’s the weird issue that won’t go away, and it’s forcing GOP presidential contenders and other Republican leaders to pick sides: do they think President Obama was born outside the United States and is therefore disqualified to be president? Polls show that a remarkable two-thirds of all Republican voters either think Obama was born abroad or they aren’t sure. With Donald Trump stirring the pot, other potential candidates are distancing themselves from his comments to varying degrees. (AP Photo/Matt York, File) (AP)

Arizona going to Supreme Court over immigration

Gov. Jan Brewer will ask court to overturn a ruling that froze controversial aspects of the state's immigrant law

Paul Davenport
May 9, 2011 10:25PM (UTC)

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer wants the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a ruling that put the most controversial parts of the state's immigration enforcement law on hold.

The appeal comes after Brewer lost an initial appeal April 11, when a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to reverse a lower court's order that prevented key parts of the law from being enforced.


The U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit in a bid to invalidate the law.

Brewer's lawyers have argued the federal government hasn't effectively enforced immigration law and that the state's intent in passing the law was to assist federal authorities.

The U.S. Justice Department has argued the law intrudes on its exclusive authority to regulate immigration and burdens legal immigrants.


Less than a day before the law was to take effect in July, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton blocked key provisions of the law from being enforced.

Those included requirements that immigrants get and carry immigration registration papers and that police, in enforcing other laws, question the immigration status of those they suspect are in the country illegally.

Bolton let other parts take effect, such as a ban on obstructing traffic while seeking or offering day-labor services on streets.


The law was passed in April 2010 amid years of complaints that the federal government hasn't done enough to lessen the state's role as the nation's busiest illegal entry point. Its passage inspired protests, led to lawsuits seeking to overturn the law and a debate about whether the law would lead to racial profiling.

The Arizona law isn't the only one that has challenged federal primacy in immigration.


The U.S. Supreme Court is mulling arguments in an appeal by groups that are trying to overturn a 2007 Arizona law prohibiting employers from knowingly hiring illegal immigrants.

Associated Press reporter Jacques Billeaud contributed to this story.

Paul Davenport

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